4 Questions With Mataano’s Designers

Ayaan and Idyl Mohallim, the sisters behind the clothing line Mataano, talk race, economy and fashion icons.

AM: I love the strong woman. Diane von Furstenberg, Carolina Herrera. In terms of women we admire for their fashion choices, we both love Michelle Obama, as well as Halle Berry and Zoe Saldana’s sexy, glamorous Hollywood essence. They’re all elegant and very classy. To be sexy, you don’t have to wear tight or short clothes; you can be sexy and exude understated elegance.

TR: How has the economy affected your line?

IM: It’s been difficult, but it makes us work that much harder. We have to hustle. It’s building character for us and helping us realize that nothing is achieved easily. When the recession’s over, we’ll come out on top because we’ll have known how to deal with adversity.

AM: We’ve also learned how to be smart by teaming up with Iman Cosmetics, for example, and people who can help and support us to get to where we want to go.

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Claire Sulmers is the editor-in-chief of the Fashion Bomb.

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